George C. Scott is the riddle in the middle of HBO's psychological thriller, "Descending Angel," debuting Sunday at 9 p.m. To his daughter he's a loving father. To her fiance he's a mass murderer. Delving into the old man's secrets to uncover the truth threatens to tear them all apart and could even cost them their lives.
Diane Lane plays the daughter, who returns home to Grand Rapids, Mich., so her boyfriend can meet her father, a Romanian immigrant who has risen to a lofty perch in the community and become an imposing, imperious and intimidating person. A widower for decades, he adores his daughter.
But it is her lover, played by Eric Roberts, who learns of Scott's character's troubled past and accusations that he was a Nazi in World War II, that he engineered the slaughter of some 800 Jews and that there's mystery surrounding the death of his wife.
The daughter doesn't seem to want the puzzle solved. Her fiance' decides he must take it upon himself to find the truth.
There are notable performances by Scott, who seems to be forever identified with "Patton"; by Lane, who was in "Lonesome Dove," and by Roberts, nominated for an Oscar for his supporting role in "Runaway Train." Encores: Wednesday at 8 p.m., Saturday at 11 p.m., and Dec. 4, 12 and 17.
Wednesday on USA at 9 p.m. Faye Dunaway stars in the premiere of a suspense thriller, "Silhouette." The Academy Award-winning actress is also co-executive producer of the film, which co-stars David Rasche, John Terry and Talisa Soto. Dunaway plays a successful executive who is stranded in a small desert town when her car breaks down. There she witnesses a murder but has only the killer's silhouette from which to identify him. Repeats Sunday, Dec. 2, at 7 p.m. and Sunday, Dec. 9, at 2 p.m.
Friday on TBS at 8:05 p.m. John Goodman hosts "Tom & Jerry's 50th Birthday Bash." Included in the one-hour tribute are clips from the celebrated cat-and-mouse team's seven Academy Award-winning episodes, a look at Jerry dancing with Gene Kelly in "Anchors Aweigh" (1945), the underwater sequence with Esther Williams in "Dangerous When Wet" (1953), and highlights from the feature short "Puss Gets the Boot." Repeats: Sunday, Dec. 2, at 4:35 p.m. and Wednesday, Dec. 5, at 3:05 p.m.
Saturday on Bravo at 5 p.m. is the starting point of the two-day, 26-hour awareness and fundraising event for AIDS research, "Unfinished Stories II: Artists and AIDS." The show runs from 5 p.m. until 6 a.m. on both Saturday and Sunday. Documentaries and provocative comedies are included. Celebrities, including Colleen Dewhurst, Whoopie Goldberg, Cybill Shepherd, Tommy Tune, Laura Dern and Eric Bogosian, have taped special informative segments.